Alessandro Mantell joined Barrington James in November 2016 and went through our training academy to be a fully-fledged 360 consultant. Originally coming from an Accounting background, he chose to take the leap in to recruitment with no previous sales experience.
He demonstrates how you can climb the ranks and be successful in a competitive industry with the right mindset and determination to succeed.
Take a few minutes to read what it’s like to be a first year recruiter at Barrington James!
What prompted you to get into recruitment?
Initially the three things which prompted me to get in to recruitment were money, excitement and freedom, and to be completely honest those are also the three main reasons I’ve stayed in it for a year now.
Money – In my previous job I had a high basic salary, however I did not have the opportunity to earn commission. I heard through the grapevine that there were lads my age and younger earning monthly pay cheques of £20K + plus driving nice cars and buying houses young. Once I heard this I was sold.
Excitement – Coming from a background of accountancy and then working for a family business, my career life had always felt very ‘secure’ and ‘easy’. The idea of being in a compelling office with like-minded, confident, and exciting people appealed to me.
Freedom – From conversations I had always had with people who worked in recruitment they always said that their desk felt like their own business, and since joining Barrington James it has been exactly that. Ultimately, there is no one there to save you. It’s your desk, and although I have ‘trainers and coaches’ on hand to help out, if it isn’t going your own way, just like if it was your own company you have to dig deep and push on – this I love.
What has your experience been like with Barrington James so far?
To sum up my experience with Barrington James thus far – A lot of hard graft. However, 100% worth it.
When I first joined it was a huge leap from my previous role and the transition was tough to begin with. Looking back now, this period of my life is probably the highest amount of personal development I’ve had during any one period of time. You are challenged with objections which is why so many people quit before reaping the rewards.
Since that period it has all been plain sailing, I’ve experienced team nights out on three separate occasions in the city. I have also been on a business trip to Munich, worked in our office in Frankfurt, attended a conference in Berlin and despite taking an initial pay decrease of £10K I have this year doubled my previous salary making the huge risk at the time worth it.
Best part of your recruitment career so far?
The best part of the recruitment career so far is split between two points. About 2 weeks ago I went out for what we here call ‘Directors lunch’ – to be honest I can’t remember most of it apart from that steak at The Savoy is incredible, and even better when it’s free.
The joint winner of this has to be my £19K pay cheque back in September – from a personal point of view to hear stories of other guys doing it before I joined to then actually achieving it in my 10th month with the company was an incredible feeling.
Hardest part of your recruitment career so far?
The hardest part of my recruitment career so far has to be when I blanked in my first two months (for those reading this who are not in sales, it is when you bring nothing to the table financially for 2 months) – its a horrible feeling because you know you’re being a burden to your team, and in a sales environment you want to be the best. However, its in times like this when you work our whether you can hack the job or not.
What have I been good at?
The area where I have flourished is ‘repeat business’ – basically clients coming back and continuously trusting me to find the top talent for their team.
Although maybe some would deem it ‘easy’, it’s actually an area where a lot of recruiters struggle, and that is because of personality. This takes me back to the point of ‘treating it like your own business’ – from watching all the top guys and girls in my company early on, I noticed that they were the ones being the most natural when speaking with clients. They made sure to always be themselves. Of course always be professional, but people don’t remember the company name they remember the person they spoke to, and how they treated them. People buy people.
What have your struggles been?
In recruitment my main struggle has been the ‘ups and downs’, and that feeling of ‘never being quite there’. Unless you actually work in recruitment I can’t quite explain it, but in effect I am referring to that feeling of being out of control. A day can go from rubbish to awesome in the space of a second – its a roller coaster!
What’s your advice to people wanting to take the leap?
My advice to people wanting to take the leap and get into recruitment, is do it now and do it big. Be fearless in your decision for what company you want to work for, and then be fearless when you start the job.
I sit on a bank of desks with guys my age (22) who have made £140K plus a year. You don’t earn that kind of money by hiding away, in this job you have to put your neck on the line over and over again to reap the rewards.
If you are ‘Umm-ing and ah-ing’ about whether you want to work in this industry or not. Stop thinking, just do it. You can’t come in halfheartedly and expect this job to work. Take the leap.
What do you wish you knew back then that you know now?
I wish knew when I left college that there were careers like recruitment and companies like Barrington James. Being completely genuine I honestly reckon if I had joined this company at 18 years of age I would now 100% have a house, expensive car, and a lot more money in the bank.
For 2-3 years I struggled on £20K -£30K basics with rent etc to pay, without knowing that there was actually another option.